The Voting News Daily: Election Assistance Commission Releases Survey of Internet Voting, GOP push vs. voter fraud based in rumor, not reality

National: Election Assistance Commission Releases Survey of Internet Voting | EAC The EAC Certification Division has released the technical report “A Survey of Internet Voting,” a comprehensive review of Internet voting systems used in elections worldwide between 2000 and 2011. EAC staff conducted the study to assist in the development of electronic absentee voting guidelines,…

National: Election Assistance Commission Releases Survey of Internet Voting | EAC

The EAC Certification Division has released the technical report “A Survey of Internet Voting,” a comprehensive review of Internet voting systems used in elections worldwide between 2000 and 2011. EAC staff conducted the study to assist in the development of electronic absentee voting guidelines, specifically to assist the Commission’s efforts to identify technologies that could improve services for military and overseas voters and voters with disabilities.

[From the report]

… Risk is a difficult concept to express, understand and measure. This is apparent in the means used to address risk from one project to the next. The EAC has knowledge of 13 formal risk assessments, and seven of these risk assessments are publicly available. Nearly every project used a different assessment methodology to measure risk.

Editorials: GOP push vs. voter fraud based in rumor, not reality | Chicago Sun-Times

This summer, Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted did something remarkable: He spoke out against his own party’s legislative proposal requiring voters to present photo IDs at polling places. Husted said he would “rather have no bill than one with a rigid photo identification provision that does little to protect against fraud and excludes legally registered voters’ ballots from counting.”

Husted’s position is a stark contrast to a national Republican drive to pass voter ID requirements. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, 38 states considered some type of voter ID and/or citizenship requirement in their last legislative session. Seven passed them, bringing the total with such laws to 15.

Florida: State allows civil rights groups to intervene in federal voting lawsuit | Miami Herald

Florida Secretary of State Kurt Browning on Friday agreed with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to allow civil rights groups and individual legislators to intervene in a lawsuit over whether the state’s recent voter laws suppress minority voting.

Browning has asked the court to take over for the U.S. attorney general’s office and “pre-clear” the law to determine if it is in line with the minority voting protections of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The new law shortens the number of days available for early voting from 14 to eight days, (although it leaves open the opportunity to extend the number of total hours available for voting.) It also imposes tight limits on third-party voter registration groups and requires an out-of-county voter — such as a student — who tries to change her voting precinct on Election Day to cast a provisional ballot, which can be more easily challenged.

Oklahoma: Cherokee Nation, Federal Government Fight Over Rights Of Freed Slave Descendants | Huffington Post

The Cherokee Nation’s election commission voted Wednesday to allow descendants of slaves once owned by tribal members to cast ballots for principal chief, but they’ll only count in the event of a court order.

Federal officials objected to a ruling last month by the tribe’s highest court that found only people of direct Cherokee ancestry could be members of the tribe and vote in the upcoming election, essentially denying ballots to some 2,800 freedmen descendants.

While the election commission’s vote doesn’t directly overturn the ruling by the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court, it does allow for freedmen to cast provisional ballots in an effort to make the election results stand, regardless of how the courts ultimately rule.

Pennsylvania: House GOP fret over new electoral plan |

A proposal to change how Pennsylvania awards its electoral college votes is pitting state government leaders in Harrisburg against fellow Republicans in Congress.

Though Pennsylvania’s a perennial swing state, it hasn’t been won by a Republican since 1988. But a proposal rolled out this week by the state Senate leader and quickly supported by Republican Gov. Tom Corbett would switch from the current winner-takes-all system to awarding most of Pennsylvania’s electoral college votes according to the winner of each congressional district, virtually assuring Republicans some of Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes.

With next year’s presidential election expected to be hard-fought, even sapping some electoral support from Barack Obama in Pennsylvania could have a major impact on the national results. But to several Republicans in marginal districts, the plan has a catch: they’re worried that Democrats will move dollars and ground troops from solid blue districts to battlegrounds in pursuit of electoral votes — and in the process, knock off the Republicans currently in the seats.

Voting Blogs: Unfair Disparities in Texas Voter ID | Brennan Center for Justice

On May 27, 2011, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed into law Senate Bill 14, which requires that voters show photo identification at the polls in order to cast a ballot. Only the following forms of ID are acceptable for purposes of voting:

  • Texas driver’s license;
  • Personal identification card issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety and featuring the voter’s photograph;
  • Election identification certificate (a new form of state photo identification created by the legislation);
  • U.S. military identification card featuring the voter’s photograph;
  • U.S. citizenship certificate featuring the voter’s photograph;
  • U.S. passport; or
  • Concealed handgun permit issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

To obtain an election identification certificate, personal identification card, or driver’s license, individuals must travel to a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) office. Texas DPS runs the state’s Driver License Offices (DLOs). If the forms of identification mentioned above are obtainable at a DLO location, then assessing whether minorities must travel longer distances to reach their nearest DLO location is relevant to understanding the effect of Texas’ voter ID law. My analysis shows that Latino voters in Texas must travel farther than white voters to reach their nearest DLO.

Denmark: The Danish way of elections | The Hill

With the 2012 campaign in full swing, and the United States’ election day now 14 months away, let us put the brakes on for a moment and focus us on another election . Yesterday, Danes elected a new prime minister – for the first time ever a woman – and decided on the distribution of  the 179 seats in parliament.

The campaign season lasted all of three weeks. There were no political ads on television. Voter participation was 87.7 percent. Compared to the United States – the land of the permanent campaign – the parliamentary democracy of Denmark offers us a glimpse of what elections could be.

Like in the United States, during campaign season here in Denmark it’s hard to drive a block without seeing wall-to-wall campaign signs. And like in America, the top issue here is overwhelmingly the economy. But the biggest difference in campaign season between our two countries – aside from the length – is the money. With a ban on political TV ads in Denmark, cash plays a much smaller role in the blitz for votes here.

Morocco: Electoral list quotas draw criticism |

The representation of women and youth in Morocco’s next parliament will increase three-fold, the interior ministry and political parties recently agreed. Sixty seats have been reserved for women and thirty for candidates under the age of forty, according to the bill passed by the Council of Ministers on Friday (September 9th).

The list system is such that parties make a list of candidates and voters choose from among those lists as opposed to electing each individual politician to office. Candidates will be elected from party lists, and the election barrier has been lowered to 3% to allow smaller parties to be represented in parliament.

The decision, however, triggered a flurry of negative reactions from activists. Some see it as a violation of the principle of equal opportunity, while others say the bill does not go far enough.

Saudi Arabia: Municipal Elections: Tough Lessons Learned from Islamic Conservatives | Eurasia Review

The Sept. 29 municipal elections in Saudi Arabia mark the second round of polling in six years and the third in almost 50 years. The latest scheduled elections ostensibly will bring Saudis closer to developing democratic ideals espoused in the West. However, the elections also have prompted criticism from Saudi activists who assert that the electoral system prevents half the population from representation by denying women the right to vote and that it gives an edge to religious conservatives.

The September elections followed a voter registration drive in May and a short period through early June that permitted candidates to register their campaigns. Ultimately, voters will go to the polls in September to elect men to 1,632 seats in 258 municipal elections. Half the municipal council seats throughout the Kingdom are appointed by royal decree. In 2005, 1,212 seats were open on 179 councils. Saudi authorities have banned women from voting or registering as candidates.

Philippines: Atienza seeks Comelec ruling on protest | Inquirer News

Former Manila Mayor Lito Atienza is asking the  Commission on Elections to decide on the case he filed against Alfredo Lim, who was  proclaimed the winner in the 2010 mayoral polls. In a statement, Atienza’s lawyer, Romulo Macalintal, said they will be filing their appeal to the Comelec en banc next week to reverse the decision of the poll body’s First Division that dismissed Atienza’s election protest case.

“A full recount and revision of all the precincts should have been conducted by the First Division,” Macalintal added, saying Atienza believes the protest case should not have been limited to the 200 pilot precincts but also to  unrevised 1,221 precincts.

Atienza had earlier said in  March that he was willing to withdraw his election protest if he were not able to gain a “substantial recovery” in the first 20 percent of the ballot boxes  under protest.

Tunisia: Constituent Assembly powers debated |

Just weeks before Tunisians head to the polls in historic Constituent Assembly elections, politicians are debating what role the legislative body will play in the future of the country.

Parties, independents and intellectuals are divided into two groups. The first group supports a proposal to restrict the task of the Constituent Assembly to creating a new constitution through a referendum on the same day as the October 23rd poll. The other faction, meanwhile, has called for making the assembly a sovereign entity with full powers.

Mohsen Marzouk, Secretary-General of the Arab Organisation for Democracy who came up with the idea of referendum, believes that the role of the Constituent Assembly must be restricted to drafting the constitution, and that the government should proceed with its work until legislative and presidential elections are held within one year. Marzouk expressed fear that members of the Constituent Assembly might not agree on the formation of a new government.